Raspberry Beret

Dear Abby

Young Adult - Social Issues
205 Pages
Reviewed on 06/27/2013
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

In the autumn of 2010, I celebrated the start of my 28th year of teaching by taking on my first seventh grade class ever. Apprehensive about this age group, my lesson plans became a challenge that actually put a much needed spark in class preparation. As a result, my dream of publication was met. With the assistance,insistence, and expert editing of young people who were living what I wrote, my first novel was born. Abby is dedicated to that class of seventh graders who continued to inspire me and my writing long after they moved on to high school. Because of them Raspberry Beret and Opening Pandora's Box completed the trilogy that has allowed me to live a dream.
When diagnosed with MS in 2001 I was uncertain how to put that to good use. Not only has writing about MS in my YA trilogy served as personal therapy, it has also allowed me to share with readers the effect that life-altering diseases has on family members as well. In the words of my main character (and alter-ego) Abigail Van Buren Masterson, "God doesn't throw us more than we can catch." MS has thrown me a few fastballs, but I continue to teach, write, and enjoy the blessing that surround me.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Tanya Owen for Readers' Favorite

"Raspberry Beret" by Lisa A. McCombs is a story about a teenage girl who communicates her feelings in a journal. Every entry starts off as “Dear Abby” because she wrote a report on the advice columnist who shared her name. Abby was a teen who had a knack for learning the French language, reading Nancy Drew mysteries, writing in her journal and making new friends. When Jesse moved across the street from her, little did she know how much her life would change over the next year. Abby saw Jesse as mysterious and quiet when they first met. Although they became best friends, there was always this mystery about her friend. Even though the sleuth in her was dying to know more about Jesse, she always respected her privacy. She figured that Jesse would share what she needed to in due time. As time went on, Abby found a romantic interest in Adam, who was a football player many girls were interested in. During the course of her eighth grade year, Abby and Jesse were instrumental in starting up a group called TAG-U, Teens Against Growing Up.

This book was very enjoyable and easy to read. It shows how a young teen girl’s thought processes can be positive or negative. The relationships McCombs shows in this book are very well-developed and very interesting. She definitely made me curious as to what would happen next. This is a book that is hard to put down because you are pulled into the story so much that you can visualize the scenes as if you are there. This is definitely a must-read for preteen and teenage girls.